Monday, November 10, 2014

Week #42 - More Bats

Sunday, January 26, 2014
Church at Kissy 2 this morning; we will be working very closely with the branch leadership to assist them and train them. There is a remodeling project currently going on at the Kissy building and the crew finally broke through the back wall in order to connect new construction with the old – only problem is, they cut through the electrical system so when we attended church today, there was no microphone nor fans working. Nothing ever quite goes completely as it should here on the Sabbath.

Met the Ostler's at the sea coach this afternoon to see them off and to drive their car back home. They are on their way to Accra for a few days of training and much deserved rest. We later had dinner with Robert and Berta for a much appreciated roast beef dinner. When they came back from their 5 week leave, they brought back the beef – it was wonderful! Home made gravy. I used to always say I only ate to live, but not now while here in Sierra Leone – I live to eat if it is good American food....

Little Sarah and I were twins today in our dress.

Monday, January 27, 2014
I baked 12 dozen cookies for one elder today – his mom sent him package mixes but his apartment has no oven so I volunteered. He will probably have them eaten within a week.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
So what have I done on this, the final day of my 62nd year of birth? Worked in the office, answered a bazillion texts from missionaries, sorted over 200 CDE entries for the month of January, distributed mail; cooked dinner; prepared a gynormous lunch for tomorrow for our trip to Makeni; we are taking office assistants with us and they seem to be hungry all the time and never bring a lunch and eat everything I offer them! Been across the hall to the Jests to help them with their water. I am eating a Bounty Bar as I write this – just like a Mounds Bar with coconut and dark chocolate, yumm!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Could it be 63? Not me! Where did the time flee? Let's see. Got a bad knee, with glasses I can see. Memory? Oh, and gray hairs at least 103. But, am a senior missionary, and getting Social Security.

Spent the day in Makeni which turned out to be an 8 hour round trip drive. We took the office assistants with us which is always fun; they did some training and we went for the express purpose of locating a senior couple apartment. At one point we met up with Elder Clawson and his companion and drove them back to their apartment. Scott went into the apartment with them and they were gone for what I thought was a long time; they finally showed up and Elder Clawson had a cereal box in his hand and presented it to me with a happy birthday wish. I opened the box and it contained packaged food from home; I knew it had come from his mom and I know how much the missionaries love to get packages and American food, so when I saw it, I was moved and told him I just couldn't accept it; he was insistent and when Scott saw the Oreo cookies that sealed the deal. I was so touched by his act of kindness and generosity.
Precious food that Elder Clawson gave up to gift me for my birthday.

My birthday box from Elder Clawson

We made the sister missionaries very happy; we replaced a broken fan and drove downtown and finally found a mirror for them. And while I was at it, I found neon vests for our airport contact to wear so our arrivals can spot him.

How many missionaries does it take to put a fan together - more than 3 as they left off the handle.

On the way home as we drove through downtown Freetown, I thought what I saw were hundreds of birds – not so – bats! (See video here - Elder Sumrak managed to stick my camera out the window and capture their unorganized flight patterns and their noise.
Elders Nwosu and Sumrak. Sister Namsamba

Scott managed to find a birthday card for me and a bar of Cadbury dark chocolate and I received a lovely hand/bath towel set from Rachelle – Egyptian cotton in a bright cranberry color! One might think what is the big deal about a bath towel! The color, the softness; there are no luxuries in this country but this gift is one and I love it!

Lots of well wishes from family/friends/missionaries; I had a wonderful day.

All done by hand - found this shop in Makeni

All done by hand - found this shop in Makeni

All done by hand - found this shop in Makeni

Another use for cardboard

Elder Richardson and his home-made scripture bag

Our day in Makeni

Thursday, January 30, 2014
Spent most of the morning at the Chinese hospital with one of our American missionaries. He had an ingrown toenail that needed removal. I stepped away for a moment when he was taken into the operating room and when I returned, I saw his companion with head bowed , praying for his welfare. Total cost of the procedure - 527,000 leones (or $123.00) which included registration, pre-op visit, operation and post op medicines. No English so I needed to be there to ensure they only removed his toenail and not his toe.

Scott found another apartment in Hastings and I saw it for the first time today; I really liked it and thought how wonderful it would be for a couples apartment – quiet, already out east (avoiding Kissy Road) – but now it will be a sweet place for missionaries.

Picked up the Ostler's from Sea Coach and then went to dinner. They had spent 4 days in Accra for training and Elder Bednar was the presiding authority. He reiterated the hastening of the work, particularly in West Africa. He counseled the mission presidents to treat people as agents (individuals who make decisions) and not objects.

Friday, January 31, 2014
Had an intense meeting this morning at the mission office with Ostler's and Jest's regarding the training of branch and district leaders; my little brain was on overload....unfortunately, the older I get the less efficient I am becoming and the challenge I have to process, sort and organize. I don't like it!

Saturday, February 1, 2014
We met the Burns at the Hill Station apartment to review what needs to be done before their replacement couple arrive on the 7th. Returned home and relaxed for an hour before we headed out to Kissy for a 3:30 pm meeting with the single adults as we ramp up and prepare for the SA Summit for all of Sierra Leone scheduled for April 11th – 12th. It is the first of its kind in this country and Scott and I have been asked to participate in the foundational work as well as the conference itself.

On the way to the Kissy Chapel, way we had a chance encounter with missionaries and discovered some unhappiness. Scott spent some precious moments with one of them and then I suggested he give him a blessing. That resulted in tears being shed and a very grateful missionary. He told Scott he had prayed for someone older he could talk to so we were humbled by the chance meeting with him.

Love and Blessing to All!

A simple game of tetherball - West African style - see video here - 

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